Ecuador to Panama – a Summary

It has been two weeks since we left Ecuador and we are still mostly under cloudy skies with much rain. We had a wonderful 4 day sail from Ecuador to western Panama making landfall on the SW corner of the Azuero Peninsula anchoring in the little bay behind Punta Naranjo. The trip was accomplished mostly under sail with winds from the SW that varied between 8 and 18 mph giving us boat speeds that varied between 3 and 7 knots. We only used the motor at both ends although it was run for almost 8 hours each time. We not only crossed the major shipping lane as we approached Azuero Peninsula but had ships on the radar in three out of the four days of the passage, several along the coast as we left Ecuador.

The anchorage at Naranjo was quite rough and rolly, but we hung there for three days. After the sleepless night just before getting there – as we watched ships on the radar and having to change course to avoid one – and then the dark-time entrance into the anchorage, we both slept much of Saturday. Sunday was not too bad a day as we even had some sun breaks, but Monday was cloudy, and the anchorage became quite rough and rolly. Tuesday morning we were up early and had the hook up soon after day light to move on. We moved to a nice anchorage on the NE corner of Isla Cebaco. There it was calm enough that the kayak was dropped overboard used for exploring the shoreline. Our next stop was off the west side of Isla Gobenador an island off the north side of Cebaco. It was a very calm anchorage but there was a good current passing under Lanikai several times a day making it difficult to just jump overboard for swims. The Kayak was put to good use again for exploring the north and northwest sides of this island. Yesterday, Monday November 12, we moved on again following the shoreline of the peninsula we found an anchorage in a little nook south of Bahía Honda. This anchorage was nice for the first day but yesterday the winds became more westerly bringing a swell into the anchorage. The morning looked promising with a large patch of blue sky overhead so we dropped the dinghy into the water and took off exploring. We checked several spots for snorkel opportunities but found no really good ones. It was after our return to Lanikai that the winds picked up and we got rollers so the kayak was never launched. Tomorrow we plan to move on, hoping to find a calmer spot.

The weather has been mostly rainy but we have had two or three nice days with sunshine finding holes in the clouds and one very nice blue-sky day. We did not encounter the rain until we were approaching Western Panama so the sail from Ecuador was accomplished in dry conditions. We are waiting for the end of the rainy season and with it the winds to switch to a more northerly flow bringing more blue to the sky and better snorkeling opportunities, which should happen any day now.